Simplified Training Solutions Releases Red Flags Tool Kit

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With the increase of electronic medical record systems in physician and dental offices and the tight economy, medical identity theft is increasing. Simplified Training Solutions (http://www.simplifiedtraining.com) releases a Tool Kit that prepares healthcare providers to reduce medical identity theft and meet the May 1, 2009 Federal Trade Commission Red Flags Rules.

The fines for Red Flags violations can be significant and we expect the Rules will be enforced quickly

Simplified Training Solutions (STS) (http://www.simplifiedtraining.com) has released the ID Theft/ Red Flags Tool Kit™ that gives healthcare providers the guidance to comply with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Red Flags rules.

By May 1, 2009 medical and dental practices must take definitive action to reduce the risk and effects of medical and financial identity theft as part of managing payment for patient care. This includes third party payments, such as insurance companies, or allowing patients to pay for services in installments.

Due to the economy and the increasing number of Americans without healthcare insurance, medical identity theft is increasing. Although difficult to get an accurate count, the FTC estimated that 250,000 patients had their medical identities compromised in 2005. As the number of electronic health records increases, attempts for medical identity thefts are expected to skyrocket.

There is an impact both on the insurance companies who are paying for services to uninsured patients and an impact on the victims, whose medical records are now inaccurate. A later visit to the healthcare provider may uncover the theft, but there is the chance that the victim may receive unnecessary treatment because of thief's earlier treatment. The time and expense for a victim to rectify this theft is substantial. To make it worse, with medical identity theft there is no clear set of procedures as with financial identity to correct the errors.

Simplified Training Solutions entered the healthcare provider training marketplace in 2003 with a series of HIPAA Privacy and Security Tool Kits for medical practices, dentists, employers, and healthcare insurance agents. All these groups have access to Protected Health Information (PHI) both electronic and paper copies and must protect their patients privacy.

"The Federal Trade Commission is much more aggressive in enforcing its regulations than Health and Human Services, the HIPAA regulators," commented Rob Karn, VP of Marketing for Simplified Training Solutions. "The fines for Red Flags violations can be significant and we expect the Rules will be enforced quickly," he concluded.

The Tool Kit includes:
o    A manual on Red Flags and identity theft
o    A program support tool for a practice to create its own response guidelines
o    Staff training
o    A copy of the FTC Rules
o    A set of patient communication tools so that patients know the practice is protecting his/her financial and medical identity

Although not a requirement by the Rules, at your next visit most healthcare providers will ask for a picture ID in order to provide service even if you have been a patient for years.

About Simplified Training Solutions
Simplified Training Solutions prepares HR professionals, privacy and security officers, healthcare professionals, and healthcare administrators to meet federally mandated compliance regulations. With more than 100 years of combined regulatory, educational, professional management and healthcare experience, the staff prepares and delivers educational products and communications training in a variety of media that best meets the needs of individual learners. When creating training products, they collaborate with prominent health law and business attorneys and e-health consultants so you can feel sure the materials they offer will be accurate.

Simplified Training Solutions has delivered training and communications materials for employer associations, third party administrators, CPAs and financial advisors, state societies, national physicians associations, specialty groups, long term care facilities, and health information management organizations. Your success is their primary goal. To get more information about Simplified Training Solutions, please visit http://www.simplifiedtraining.com. Simplified Training Solutions, is a subsidiary of Raleigh-based marketing and communications firm Connections Too (http://www.connectionstoo.com)

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